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September 29, 2023

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Black Friday highlights compulsiveness, holiday should be focused on quality time spent with family

This Thanksgiving, many of us will be reminded of the subtle joys or anxieties our families and friends provide us with.

Among many households, Thanksgiving is the only holiday on which family members

even meet.

This year, similar to every year, corporate America wants to remind you that Thanksgiving Day is really the time for you to shop. The illusion of a bargain is what lures shoppers into stores.

Ironically, most shoppers these days are seeking commodity-like products within price points that seem like a steal but really aren’t.

Think about televisions, DVDs, clothing and electronics. These products are easily replicable and become obsolete within a few years.

Yet, regardless of their limited lifespan, shoppers still drool over the concept of buying these products for what they perceive to be half price.

The most unfortunate part of this process is how a holiday that has been coined for family time has become an annual shopping event.

I would love to blame consumers, but the truth of the matter is that retailers are just as guilty.

After all, it is America’s big box retailers that have influenced and brainwashed the public into shopping on Thanksgiving Day, one day before Black Friday.

Retailers like JCPenney claim they offer more freedom and flexibility to their customers, when in reality they do nothing more than hint at their desperation and the desperation of their shoppers. It’s almost like a drug addiction.

There are those that argue that opening doors on Thanksgiving Day provide shoppers with the flexibility to shop at a more reasonable time of day given that Black Friday deals usually start halfway between midnight and dawn.

Opening a day prior to Black Friday probably does ease some anticipation, as well as reduce the chances of car accidents and stampedes on roads.

Considering the benefits, it still seems like a losing situation for shoppers, employees and

even retailers.

The promotions and sales offered during this time of year only highlight the compulsiveness of the average American consumer.

Most people are so addicted to a deal that they’d rather be shopping than spending the one day they get to spend

with family.

I don’t mean to demonize those who do shop on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, but an important lesson is to be

learned here.

The greatest financial mistake most people make is to micromanage their costs.

Too often people try to time gas prices to fuel their car in hopes of making significant savings. This practice does nothing more than save a few dollars and highlights one’s foolishness.

The real cost savings are in limiting macro expenses, such as housing and automotive costs.

The point to make is that couponing and gaming in the retail industry isn’t going to bypass any significant expenses that are necessary in life.

Shopping on Thanksgiving doesn’t make retailers look favorable from an ethical standpoint and makes shoppers look silly in the long run. So be a responsible adult this holiday season and remind yourself that Thanksgiving is the day you should put family first.

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